With expected heavy rains this El Niño season, we are reminded of our water challenges: too much rain in the winter, not enough in the summer. This is typical of our Bay Area Mediterranean climate, but with smart design and adaptation we can turn these challenges into opportunities. With the drought also in effect, what rainwater we do get, should be managed carefully. Rainwater harvesting and stormwater retention can be designed into our gardens and landscapes to minimize runoff and erosion and maximize water conservation.